|The Hidden Quest: Book 1|
|Preceded by: |
|Falling Shadows||Succeded by: |
Blackkit and Hawkkit are moving to apprenticeship and trying their best to help their clan. However, they receive an ominous prophecy of a great danger to come to the lake and only they can stop it.
Blackpaw woke up in a dark, unknown place. He looked around to see if there was any sort of light. "Where am I?" he asked himself.
"You're trapped here too?" came a voice from behind him. He turned around to see a orange tomcat with black stripes along his pelt and amber eyes. A light flashed behind him and lit up where he was sitting. Great StarClan! he thought, I'm in a two-leg nest!
Night fell on a large clearing around the lake. The moon was bright and Silverpelt revealed a rocky hollow. At the bottom, lies a pool that reflected the stars in the sky. The air was filled with the scents of newleaf. The calm breeze over the pool gently swayed the water in it. The light revealed a slender, dark tortoiseshell she-cat with a dappled coat. She flicked her tail and, as if it were a signal, more cats filled the clearing. Four cats walked up to join the she-cat. One was a blue-gray she-cat, one was a tortoiseshell tom with a ginger tail, one was a gray tom with battle-scarred ears, and the last one was a black tom with a twisted paw.
“May I speak Bluestar?” asked the tortoiseshell she-cat to the blue-gray she-cat.
“You may,” answered Bluestar.
She stepped forward. “Great danger is coming to the lake. A clan outside of the territories will come to claim the Clans,” meowed the tortoiseshell cat, “Two cats will be chosen to stop this danger. She and approve my choices.” Looking down at the pool, two kits appeared sleeping in their nests. One was a black tom with white paws and underbelly, the other was gray she-cat with brown and black stripes.
“Them!” meowed the gray tom, “Spottedleaf, can’t you choose two others?”
“No Stonefur,” Spottedleaf replied, “These are my choices.”
“But-,” Stonefur began, but was cut off by the tortoiseshell tom.
“Don’t argue Stonefur, it is Spottedleaf’s decision.”
“Redtail’s right,” meowed the black tom, “It’s Spottedleaf’s choice."Soon the meows of different cats filled the hollow. They wondered and asked each other about Spottedleaf’s decision. Some stayed quiet and nodding to her showing that they approved her choice. “Silence!” a loud yell rang out from the hollow. The voices died down and turned their attention to Spottedleaf again.
“Thank you Redtail and Deadfoot,” she mewed, “Bluestar what do you think?”
“Well I’m not really sure,” Bluestar hesitated, “I need to think about.”
“But there is no time to think!” Deadfoot howled.
“Don’t forget Bluestar, one of them is your kin,” Spottedleaf meowed softly.
Bluestar hesitated and for a second. “Then I agree with the decision. Does StarClan approve?” asked Bluestar. The cats of StarClan nodded and meowed their approval of Spottedleaf’s choice. “Cats of StarClan, you’re voices have been heard! We will wait until this danger ends,” Bluestar’s voice rang out. The cats began to separate with still some that were uneasy about the decision, leaving only Bluestar and Spottedleaf alone in the clearing.
Blackkit woke up from his sleep. He stood up and stretched his legs while he looked around the nursery. He noticed Hawkkit stirring in her nest. He walked over to her and meowed, “Good morning.” Hawkkit looked up at him. “Good morning, Blackkit,” replied Hawkkit. He watched Hawkkit walk outside and he followed her out. He walked over to the fresh-kill pile and picked up a mouse. He turned around and smelled a disgusting scent on the roof of his mouth. What is that scent coming from? he thought. He continued walking over to where Hawkkit was sitting. Blackkit looked back at the nursery to see his sister, Starkit, standing at the entrance with her nose up. He stopped watching and continued to walk over to Hawkkit. When he reached her, Starkit ran in front of him, “Blackkit, put that mouse down!” she ordered.
“Why?” he asked.
“Just do it!” she howled. Blackkit obeyed and he dropped the mouse. He watched as Starkit unsheathed her claws and lifted her paw. Her paw came down and sliced the mouse open to reveal white worms living in his stomach. Blackkit’s stomach churned at the sight.
“That’s disgusting!” Hawkkit meowed. Jayfeather came out of his den and walked over to them.
“Good job, Starkit,” he praised, “Who did you take that from?” Blackkit knew he wouldn’t have known because he’s blind, but that didn’t stop him from being a great medicine cat. “Blackkit,” meowed Hawkkit. “Well, then you just saved him from a nasty stomach ache,” Jayfeather told Starkit.
“Thank you, Jayfeather,” Starkit mewed, her voice trembling with pride. He looked around the camp to see it bustling with activity. Blackkit looked towards the entrance to see the dawn patrol containing; Cloudtail, Lionblaze, Sandstorm, Berrynose, Ferncloud, and lead by Brambleclaw, come back. Looking closely, he saw claw marks in their fur and they were covered with blood. He turned toward the Highledge to see Firestar come out of his den and run towards the patrol. “What happened?” he asked Brambleclaw.
“We were attacked by a ShadowClan patrol heading for the camp,” explained Brambleclaw, “I’m guessing they wanted to take as much territory as possible by driving us out.”
“Well it’s not going to happen!” Cloudtail howled.
“It won’t,” Firestar told his nephew. Blackkit wanted to rip the fur off of all of the ShadowClan cats that were coming here. He watched Firestar climb to the top of the Highledge and call a clan meeting. “All cats old enough to catch their own prey, come below the Highledge for a clan meeting,” Firestar’s voice rang out through out the clearing. Blackkit raced over to his mother, Eaglewing, who had originally come from RiverClan. He looked next to her to see his father, Lionblaze, talking to her. Since he was not paying attention, Blackkit rammed into Redkit and knocked him over.
“Hey!” Redkit meowed. Blackkit put his paws up, ready for a play-fight, but his mom stopped them.
“Stop fooling around and pay attention to Firestar,” Eaglewing ordered. Blackkit looked up at Firestar and listened.
“ShadowClan is coming to attack the camp. We must be ready to defend it as well as we can. We must get all the kits, queens, and elders in the nursery-,” Firestar explained before getting cut-off by the howling of the ShadowClan cats. Quickly thinking, Blackkit raced to the nursery and almost tripping over himself several times before getting inside. He stood inside and waited for everyone to get in. He saw Redkit, Starkit, Sunkit, Eaglewing, Daisy, and the other queens and elders get inside. Everyone was inside except for one, Hawkkit. He looked outside to see her scrambling towards the nursery. Then, the ShadowClan cats attacked. Blackkit watched nervously as Hawkkit dodged the battling cats and made it to the nursery.
“You made it!” Sunkit exclaimed. Before they thought they were safe, a dark-brown ShadowClan cat walked in the nursery.
“Kits to take,” meowed the ShadowClan cat.
“Over my dead body!” howled Eaglewing. He watched as his mom fought the ShadowClan cat as best she could. “You will never take my kits Darkclaw!” Eaglewing hissed at the attacker.
“We’ll see about that,” Darkclaw hissed back. Blackkit moved back a step and continued to watch them fight. However, Darkclaw overpowered Eaglewing and brought her down. Darkclaw turned towards them, his eyes filled with anger and hatred.
“Don’t underestimate us,” Redkit hissed at Darkclaw.
“And don’t think we’re scared,” Blackkit put in.
“I’ll do and think whatever I want,” Darkclaw meowed curtly. Blackkit jumped on Darkclaw with his claws unsheathed. He held on as much as he could and biting Darkclaw’s neck while doing it. He felt his grip loosening as Darkclaw tried to shake him off. Redkit, Hawkkit, and Sunkit came to help, but it was too late. Blackkit lost his grip and was flung through the air and Darkclaw slashed him and sent him spinning.
He hit the nursery wall and fell. He tried to get up, but only to fall down again. He looked at his shoulder to see a gash with blood pouring out of it. “Help!” he yowled with agony. Nobody came. He looked at Darkclaw who was fighting his friends and some of the queens and elders.
“Help! Starkit, help!” he called. Starkit raced over to him.
“What is it?” she asked.
“Get Jayfeather, I have a serious injury,” he explained. Without a reply from Starkit, he watched her race out of the nursery. He looked at his injury again. Please don't let me die! He thought. He looked back at the battling cats to see them drive Darkclaw away and mewling like a kit. Blackkit released a sigh of relief. Hawkkit and Redkit raced over to him. “Thank you,” he mewed quietly.
“We better get you to Jayfeather and fast,” Redkit meowed. Hawkkit walked over to Blackkit’s injured side and pushed on it. Blackkit tried to fight the pain and pushed up. After a little effort, he stood up, but he was exhausted and leaned against Hawkkit.
“Come on, let’s go,” Hawkkit meowed. Blackkit walked toward the entrance with the aid of Hawkkit at his side. They made their way to the medicine cat’s den and then Blackkit realized that the battle had stopped. They entered the den and he laid himself down on the nearest nest.
“Jayfeather! Blackkit’s severely injured!” Hawkkit yowled.
“Let me look at him,” Jayfeather meowed. And then Blackkit didn’t hear anything else and fell asleep.
Blackkit opened his eyes to see a black clearing. He stood up, the pain in his shoulder gone. “Hello?” he asked, “Is anyone here?” He walked forward not knowing what lies ahead. Then, a blue-gray she-cat appeared in front of him. “Who are you?” he asked the cat.
“I am Bluestar, I was leader of ThunderClan before Firestar became leader,” Bluestar explained.
“Where am I?” Blackkit asked, “Am I in StarClan?”
“You ask too many questions,” Bluestar purred, “No, but I have come to give you a message.” He stared at her with excitement and anticipation. “Great danger is coming to the lake and only black and hawk can stop it,” she meowed. Blackkit’s excitement turned into despair.
“What do you mean?” he asked, “Why are you telling me this?”
“All will be revealed my kin,” Bluestar meowed before disappearing.
“Wait! What do you mean by ‘my kin'?” Blackkit asked, but it was useless. Blackkit woke up from his dream to see Hawkkit next to him with a relieved look.
“Thank StarClan, you’re still alive,” she exclaimed, “I thought you weren’t going to make it.” Blackkit felt her ram herself in him. They started to play-fight, but Jayfeather saw them.
“Hey stop fooling around and go outside for your ceremony,” Jayfeather ordered them.
“I almost forgot we’re becoming apprentices today!” Hawkkit meowed. I forgot all about that, Blackkit thought. They raced outside and stood next to Redkit, Sunkit, and Starkit. Jayfeather walked out of his den and sat under the Highledge. Firestar started the ceremony.
“This sunhigh, we gather to name five new apprentices. Step forward.” Blackkit and his friends walked forward beneath the Highledge. He wondered what mentor he would get. He would be grateful to get either Firestar or Brambleclaw, but what chance would he get being their apprentices. Firestar walked up to him.
“From this day forward, until he has earned his warrior name, this apprentice will be called Blackpaw,” Firestar announced, “And I will take Blackpaw as my own apprentice.” Joy filled Blackpaw so much that he tried to contain it. He touched noses with his mentor and watched Firestar as he announced his friends and littermates. Hawkkit became Hawkpaw and her mentor is Sandstorm, Redkit became Redpaw and his mentor is Brambleclaw, and Sunkit became Sunpaw and her mentor is Squirrelflight. Firestar stopped at Sunpaw, leaving only Starkit to have her mentor.
Blackpaw watched as Jayfeather took Firestar’s place and announced, “I am the only medicine cat in ThunderClan and it is time for me to take an apprentice. Until she has become a full medicine cat, Starkit will be known as Starpaw.” Blackpaw was filled with joy that they were all apprentices now. He looked at his friends as they walked down from the rock and walked toward the apprentices den.
“Blackpaw! Hawkpaw! Redpaw! Sunpaw! Starpaw!” everyone cheered.
Blackpaw was stopped by Bearpaw, his good friend from the days when Bearpaw was in the nursery. “It’s good to see that you’re an apprentice now. We can train together!” Bearpaw exclaimed. Blackpaw saw that he was still a little kit inside. “I visited you when you were in the nursery,” Bearpaw continued, “I thought you were going to die from those injuries, but you pulled through it.”
“Yeah,” Blackpaw agreed. When Bearpaw spoke about seeing him in the nursery made him remember his dream. The message kept repeating in his head, “Great danger is coming to the lake and only black and hawk can stop it.” What does it mean?, he asked himself.
Blackpaw looked around the camp to see that everyone was busy. He walked over to the fresh-kill pile and picked up a chaffinch and sat down. When he finished, he started to walk over to the apprentices den. Before he could move he heard, “Blackpaw come over here.”
It was Firestar. He walked over to where Firestar was. He saw Redpaw, Hawkpaw and Sunpaw with their mentors. “What are we doing?” he asked enthusiastically.
“We’re going to show you around the territory,” Firestar answered.Blackpaw was filled with excitement; he was going to go outside the camp for the first time. He didn’t keep Firestar waiting and followed him out. He ran up to Redpaw and his mentor. “Do you think we’ll see the Ancient Oak?” he asked Redpaw.
“I hope so! I want to climb it!” Redpaw mewed. Blackpaw was surprised by Redpaw’s sudden enthusiasm. They came up to a stream and walked along it. “Smell there air,” Brambleclaw meowed.
“What’s that smell?” Hawkpaw asked.
“That’s WindClan scent, remember it and remember that the stream is the border,” Brambleclaw mewed. They turned around and headed toward the Ancient Oak. Before they finished turning around, they heard a voice calling them.
"Hey Firestar!" the voice called. Blackpaw looked at Firestar, which he turned around to see who it was.
"Onestar, I didn't expect to see you," Firestar meowed.
"I know, I heard what happened two days ago and wanted to see if everyone was fine," Onestar said with concern in his voice.
"Everyone is fine, except for Longtail, who died fighting a ShadowClan warrior that entered the nursery."
"Not Longtail, he was a good warrior and we will miss him."
"Well, we best be going. We are showing the new apprentices around the territory," Sandstorm told Onestar.
"Alright, sorry if I was holding you up," Onestar apoligized.
"It's alright, I'm glad you were concerned about our Clan," Brambleclaw meowed.
"Anything to help an old friend. Alright, I'm heading back to camp, see you at the Gathering," Onestar mewed his goodbye.
Blackpaw was wondering how Firestar knew Onestar so well and was a friend. He shook the idea out of his head and continued walking with the group. He walked next to Hawkpaw and they walked silently through the forest until they reached the Ancient Oak. It was a tall, strong tree that gre at the edge of the lake.
“This is the Ancient Oak,” meowed Sandstorm.
“It’s huge!” Sunpaw yowled.
“Did you know Mousetail climbed up the tree to catch a squirrel,” Sandstorm mewed.
“What happened?” Blackpaw asked.
“Cinderheart climbed up after him and tried to bring him back down. However, she fell and broke her leg,” Sandstorm explained.
“Well at least she’s alright,” meowed Redpaw.
“Yeah, especially now that she has Bearpaw to train,” Firestar purred amusingly, “Alright, let’s head for the ShadowClan border.”
When they were near the border, Blackpaw remembered the awful smell of crowfood from Darkclaw, the ShadowClan cat that attacked the nursery. "It seems, you remember the smell Blackpaw," Firestar meowed.
"Yeah and I will never forget it," Blackpaw replied.
"Good," Firestar purred. Then his expression of amusement turned to anger when they reached the border. "ShadowClan moved into our territory," He announced.
"How dare they!" Squirrelflight hissed.
"We'll kick the fresh ShadowClan marks and put our own on the actual border. I'll mention this at the Gathering in two days," Firestar meowed.
After they finished removing the ShadowClan markers and put their own, they headed back to camp. Blackpaw was looking around the forest, seeing chipmunks, squirrels and mice. He looked left and saw an orange tail sticking out behind a bush. I wonder what that is he thought. He walked around the opposite side of it.
"Blackpaw! Get away from there! There's a fox!" Sandstorm meowed warningly. Blackpaw began walking back slowly hoping that he didn't startle it. When he was back with the group they continued walking toward the camp. Blackpaw was bewildered why the fox didn't attack. That's just another mystery in his head.
Hawkpaw walked back into camp with Blackpaw right next to her. She was worried that the fox could have attacked him and she thanked StarClan it didn't. Blackpaw, Redpaw, Sunpaw and herself walked to the apprentices den to relax.
"I can't wrap my head around why the fox didn't attack me," Blackpaw meowed, breaking the silence.
"Well at least it didn't," Redpaw replied.
"You could have been killed," Hawkpaw meowed with concern.
"And I don't want to lose my only brother," Sunpaw mewed.
"I'm pretty sure Firestar is going to call a meeting about the fox and ShadowClan moving into our territory," Blackpaw meowed. Hawkpaw nodded her head in agreement. They heard a howl outside and they knew that Firestar was calling a meeting. Hawkpaw walked out into the clearing and looked for a place to sit down. She saw Wildpaw, her friend from her days in the nursery.
"Wildpaw!" she exclaimed.
"Hawkpaw. It's good to see you," Wildpaw walked toward her.
"Where should we sit?" she asked Wildpaw.
"Right where I was sitting would be fine."
They walked over to where Wildpaw was previously sitting. They sat down and looked up at the highledge. Firestar stood on top, waiting for everyone to fill the clearing.
"While my group; Brambleclaw, Sandstorm, Squirrelflight and myself were showing the new apprentices the territory we found ShadowClan markers in our territory," he announced.
"How dare they!" Cloudtail hissed.
"We got rid of the markers and placed our own on the correct border," Firestar continued obviously ignoring his nephew, "While we were heading back Blackpaw found a fox behind a bush, however the fox did not attack. It could have been sleeping, so patrols keep a look out for that fox." Everyone seperated however, Hawkpaw was thinking about what he said. Blackpaw walked right over to the fox out of curiosity, not just because he saw it and told Firestar, she thought, Maybe he didn't want to make Blackpaw look bad, after all Blackapw is related to Firestar and is his own apprentice.
"Hawkpaw, are you okay?" Wildpaw asked breaking Hawkpaw out of her thoughts.
"I'm fine Wildpaw, just thinking. Thank you," Hawkpaw meowed. She padded over to the apprentices den to find Blackpaw, Redpaw and Sunpaw asleep already. She laid down, closed her eyes and fell asleep. A little later, Hawkpaw opened her eyes to see an empty, black clearing. She looked in front of her and saw a dark tortoiseshell she-cat with a beautiful dapple coat.
"Who are you?" she asked the cat.
"I am Spottedleaf. I have a message for you," the cat meowed. Hawkpaw sat up and listened.
"Great danger coming to the lake and only black and hawk can stop it," Spottedleaf meowed the vague message.
"What are telling me, what does it have to do with me?" Hawkpaw asked Spottedleaf.
"The secrets will be revealed in the future young one," Spottedleaf said before she disappeared. Hawkpaw was left in the clearing thinking about the message. If hawk means me, than black means Blackpaw, she thought, but what could the danger be?
"Hawkpaw! Wake up!" she heard before opening her eyes. She saw Blackpaw standing over her.
"You were mewing in your sleep, but I geuss I know why," Blackpaw meowed.
"What do you mean Blackpaw?" she asked as she stood up.
"The message, Hawkpaw, 'Great danger is coming to the forest and only black and hawk can stop it.' Hawkpaw we are the black and the hawk. We just don't know what the danger is," Blackpaw explained.
"Should we tell Firestar?" Hawkpaw asked.
"No, it doesn't seem right to and we shouldn't tell anyone else," Blackpaw told her.
"Alright, lets go and get something to eat," she offered Blackpaw.
"That sounds fine," Blackpaw agreed with her.
An hour had passed since Hawkpaw had woken up. She was waiting for Sandstorm so they could start learning how to hunt. Blackpaw, Redpaw and Sunpaw were also waiting. Hawkpaw looked at the medicine cats den and saw Starpaw walking out of the den and began walking down to the clearing.
"Hi Hawkpaw," Starpaw meowed enthusiasticly.
"Hi Starpaw," Hawkpaw meowed.
"Is something wrong," Starpaw asked her.
"Well if consider being bored waiting for your mentor, then yes," Hawkpaw told Starpaw with a hint of humor in her voice. Starpaw purred amusingly. Blackpaw and Firestar had already left as well as Sunpaw and Squirrelflight.
"Well I'll see you later Hawkpaw, Jayfeather is showing me the best places for herbs," Starpaw meowed her goodbye.
"See you later Starpaw," she meowed her goodbye. Shortly after Starpaw left, Sandstorm arrived.
"Sorry I was late Hawkpaw, I had a rough night. Let's go," Sandstorm meowed. They walked up to the top of the camp and walked over to the an open area to train.
"Alright show me your stalk," Sandstorm told Hawkpaw. She immediatly dropped down to a crouch and made her feet as light as possible. She walked around a bit in her stance.
"Good job Hawkpaw," Sandstorm credited her, "However, you are leaning a bit to the left, but that's alright that happened to everyone, including me."
"So what are doing next?" she asked Sandstorm.
"I'm going to ask Firestar, Brambleclaw and Squirrelflight if we can send you hunting."
"Already!" Hawkpaw exclaimed. It's only the second day and already get to go hunting! she thought.
"Yep, now come on," Sandstorm told her. They walked along a path until Hawkpaw saw Firestar and Blackpaw battle training.
"You're already teaching him fighting moves?" Sandstorm asked Firestar.
"Yeah, Blackpaw is a fast learner," Firestar praised Blackpaw.
"Lucky!" Hawkpaw exclaimed.
"Don't worry your going to learn to Hawkpaw," Blackpaw reassured her.
"Anyway, is it alright if we send Hawkpaw and Blackpaw hunting?" Sandstorm asked.
"That's fine," Firestar agreed, "Hawkpaw you will take the ground over by Ancient Oak and Blackpaw you will take the ground over by the WindClan border."
"Wait I thought we would also get Sunpaw and Redpaw too," Hawkpaw meowed to Sandstorm.
"They might be over at the WindClan border so you can tell them if you see them," Sandstorm explained.
"Okay," both Blackpaw and Hawkpaw meowed.
"What are you two waiting for? Go!" Sandstorm ordered.
Hawkpaw dashed over to the Ancient Oak. She stopped and saw a squirrel holding a acorn in its paws. She dropped into the stalking position. She crept up on it, pounced and landed on top of it. She swiped her claws against it and heard a satisfying silence. Then she heard yowling from the WindClan border. She buried her prey and began heading over. When she neared the border she heard cries for help.
"Help! Someone please! I'm being taken by a two-leg, help!" she heard the voice. The voice was familiar, then she froze with fear, Blackpaw!
Hawkpaw was back at camp, it was an hour after Blackpaw was taken by the two-leg. She had told Firestar, but felt upset with herself. She couldn't help, but feeling that it was her fault that Blackpaw was taken and that the prophecy could not be fulfilled. She heard movement behind her and saw Bloodpaw, Blackpaw's friend.
"Hawkpaw, I'm sorry that Blackpaw was taken," he meowed.
"Why are you saying that?" she asked Bloodpaw.
"I think you have feelings for him," Bloodpaw meowed.
"I geuss so."
"Don't worry, we'll get him back," Bloodpaw assured her.
"I hope so," she meowed softly. Could it be possible that she thinks Blackpaw more than just a friend? Most likely I do, she thought, maybe it's part of the prophecy. She heard Bloodpaw walk away and decided to go to the apprentices den. Wildpaw, Redpaw, Sunpaw and Starpaw were their talking about what they were doing in training.
"Hi Hawkpaw how was training today?" Starpaw asked.
"Terrible!" she wailed and broke into tears.
"Was it because you couldn't stop the two-leg from taking Blackpaw?" Starpaw asked with concern in her voice.
"Yeah, I feel like it is all my fault!" Hawkpaw exclaimed.
"Hawkpaw, everything will be alright," Wildpaw tried to assure her. I don't believe so, Hawkpaw thought. Hawkpaw fell silent and everyone continued their discussion where they left off. Hawkpaw felt drained of her energy and fell asleep. When she opened her eyes she found herself in the same clearing as she had the day before. She saw Spottedleaf and a blue-gray she-cat right next to her.
"Welcome back Hawkpaw," Spottedleaf meowed, "Let me introduce you to Bluestar. She was leader of ThunderClan before Firestar."
"What have you brought me here for?" Hawkpaw asked.
"We saw that you were distraught when Blackpaw was taken and blamed it on yourself," Bluestar explained.
"There is no need to be upset with yourself," Spottedleaf assured her, "Blackpaw is safe and he will find his way back."
"But, what if he doesn't?" Hawkpaw asked.
"He will, the prophecy cannot be completed if he isn't present," Bluestar meowed. Then Bluestar and Spottedleaf faded away leaving Hawkpaw alone in the clearing. I hope they're right about Blackpaw, she thought.
"I guess I'll have to wait and see what happens," she meowed in a low voice. She closed her eyes and felt something shaking her.
"Wake up Hawkpaw! You were sleep talking!" meowed a voice. Hawkpaw recognized that it was her brother Redpaw. Then she heard another voice.
"Leave her alone! She had a rough day yesterday!" It was Sunpaw, Blackpaw's sister. Opened her eyes and stood up.
"Good morning Hawkpaw, you feeling better?" Sunpaw asked.
"I'm feeling better than yesterday, but I still miss Blackpaw," she meowed. Hawkpaw turned her head to Redpaw.
"Thank you for telling me that I was sleep talking, but make sure that you tell me after I wake up," Hawkpaw meowed humorously.
"Okay sis," Redpaw purred amusingly. Better get to Sandstorm so I can begin training again, she tought and stalked off to the warriors den.
Blackpaw woke up in a dark, unknown place. He looked around to see if there was any sort of light.
"Where am I?" he asked himself.
"You're trapped here too?" came a voice from behind him. He turned around to see an orange tomcat with black stripes along his pelt and amber eyes. A light flashed behind him and lit up where he was sitting. Great StarClan! he thought, I'm in a two-leg nest!
"It seems my housefolk found you wondering outside. Now, where are your housefolk?" the cat asked.
"I don't have housefolk, I belong to a clan in the wild and I need to get out of here," Blackpaw explained briefly.
"My housefolk will let me out soon. That's when you can get out as you don't have a collar. However, I can't this collar shocks me everytime I try to leave and I don't think it's natural for a cat to be trapped in here," the cat explained to Blackpaw, "By the way, my name is Tiger, what's yours?"
"Blackpaw, ThunderClan apprentice!" Blackpaw meowed proudly, "You say you can't leave with that collar on. I bet that if I pull on it and you pull away from me, we can get the collar off and head back to my clan and maybe, you can join us."
"Well, I am a fighter and I haven't been to the vet yet so, be sure that I won't be lazy," Tiger meowed with humor. Blackpaw heard a door open and a two-leg calling them.
"Time to go," Tiger meowed. Blackpaw followed Tiger out the door and into the yard.
"Alright, lets get that collar off," Blackpaw mewed. He walked up to Tiger and gripped on to the collar with his teeth.
"Pull!" he ordered. They pulled away from each other. Blackpaw could here Tiger gasping for breath. A little bit later Blackpaw heard a snap and fell back. He had Tiger's collar in his teeth. Blackpaw walked over to Tiger who was breathing heavily.
"Are you alright?" Blackpaw asked Tiger.
"I'm fine. Let's get out of here," Tiger meowed. Blackpaw jumped over the low fence covering the yard.
"Which way to the lake?" he asked.
"Left," Tiger instructed. Blackpaw ran as fast as he could until he came to the edge of the lake. He waited for Tiger, who wasn't far behind.
"I haven't seen this side before, I believe my clan is on the other side," Blackpaw explained, "I think we should go right."
"I'm following you," Tiger meowed. They began walking left, not knowing where they were. Then, Blackpaw smelled cats they haven't seen before.
"I smell intruders," one cat meowed.
"Smells like ThunderClan," another meowed.
"It's coming this way!" a third cat exclaimed. He heard the padding of paws running towards him. He saw the three cats he heard.
"INTRUDERS!" one of the cats yowled and ran straight towards him.
"WAIT! STOP! STOP! WE DON'T KNOW WHERE WE ARE!" Blackpaw pleaded. The charging cat stopped.
"What are you doing on RiverClan territory?" the cat asked.
"I was captured by two-legs and escaped, but I have no idea where I am," Blackpaw explained.
"Where are you heading?" another cat asked.
"We're heading to ThunderClan," Tiger answered. Blackpaw noticed a fourth cat who looked about as old as him. She must be an apprentice too, he thought.
"How do we now your not trying to spy on us," the third cat meowed suspiciously.
"I don't think they are spying," the apprentice meowed while walking towards him, "I'm Leafpaw and these are Reedwhisker, Minnowtail and Robinwing."
"I'm Blackpaw and this is Tiger," Blackpaw introduced him and Tiger to the RiverClan cats, "Can you bring us back to ThunderClan territory?"
"We will, but we must tell Mistystar and bring you only to the WindClan border. We will wait until we see a WindClan patrol to bring you over to the ThunderClan border," Reedwhisker explained.
"And we heard about the ShadowClan attack on the ThunderClan camp," Robinwing meowed.
"We hope no one was seriously injured," Minnowtail mewowed worryingly.
"Unfortunately, Longtail died and, my mother, Eaglewing and I were injured badly," Blackpaw told the RiverClan cats.
"You're Eaglewing's kit? I should have know by your black pelt and white paws," Reedwhisker meowed.
"You know that she is my sister," Robinwing meowed.
"We best be going, we want to meet the morning WindClan patrol," Minnowtail suggested.
"Good idea. You two can stay for the night at the camp, but be up early in the morning so we can get to the WindClan border," Reedwhisker told them.
"Yes Reedwhisker," Blackpaw and Tiger meowed and followed the RiverClan cats. Soon, they arrived at the RiverClan cat and were brought to the leaders den. However, before they could go in they heard a voice.
"Mistystar lost a life!" yowled the voice and a dappled golden she-cat came out. Blackpaw watched Reedwhisker run up to her and stopped her.
"Mothwing, what's wrong?" Reedwhisker asked Mothwing.
"Mistystar has green cough," she meowed in a low voice. After that, Blackpaw was filled with shock and horror.
"I need to speak to Mistystar," Reedwhisker meowed to Mothwing. Blackpaw was only in the RiverClan camp for a while now and not only heard what happened to Mistystar, he saw it.
"Alright, but don't stand too close to her," Mothwing warned. Blackpaw watched as Reedwhisker disappeared into the den. He laid himself down on the ground and relaxed.
"Mommy! Who's that?" Blackpaw heard a mew come from the nursery. He turned his head to see a white kit looking at him.
"That's a ThunderClan apprentice, Treekit, one of the patrols found him by the ShadowClan border," a voice came from inside the RiverClan nursery. A white she-cat with blue eyes walk out.
"That's Icewing," Robinwing told him. Blackpaw turned back towards the den and heard Mistystar speaking to Reedwhisker.
"You have to bring him back to ThunderClan, you didn't need permission to ask," Mistystar's voice came from inside the den.
"Yes, Mistystar," he heard Reedwhisker's voice and saw him walk out.
"Come on, we're going," Reedwhisker meowed. Blackpaw got up and followed Reedwhisker toward the exit of the camp. He looked back to see Tiger asleep.
"Tiger! Wake up!" he yowled. Tiger stood up with alert and ran over to him.
"Sorry," he apoligized.
"It's alright Tiger, lets catch up," Blackpaw meowed. Blackpaw ran to catch up to the Reedwhisker. When they reached him, he was at the border.
"Wait her for a bit, I smell a patrol coming," Reedwhisker told them. Blackpaw looked and saw three cats heading their way. One was gray, the second one was black and the last one was pale gray. When the cats got closer, they began to talk.
"RiverClan patrol ahead," the gray cat meowed.
"One of them smells of ThunderClan," the black cat told the others, "and one smells like a kittypet." Finally, Reedwhisker stood up.
"Greetings Ashfoot, Breezepelt and Boulderclaw. I need your patrol to bring Blackpaw and Tiger back to ThunderClan," Reedwhisker explained.
"One of our other patrols told us about a ThunderClan patrol that told them if they see a black apprentice to bring him back to ThunderClan," Boulderclaw meowed.
"We'll bring them to ThunderClan," Ashfoot told Reedwhisker.
"Thank you, go on you two. May StarClan light your path," Reedwhisker meowed to them as they left.
"May StarClan light your path too," Blackpaw meowed to Reedwhisker. I'm finally heading back home, he thought. They walked across the moorlands silently until they reached the border.
"Here's the ThunderClan border. You know where to go from here, Blackpaw?" Ashfoot asked.
"Of course he does!" Breezepelt exclaimed.
"I know where to go, thank you Ashfoot, Breezepelt and Boulderclaw. May StarClan light your path," Blackpaw told them.
"May StarClan light your path too," Ashfoot meowed. Blackpaw ran into the forest with Tiger following close behind. I can't wait to see everyone again! he thought. He came to the entrance to the camp, and walked through the brambles with Tiger next to him. Right when he came through the brambles he heard a familiar voice.
"Blackpaw's back!" the voice yowled. He saw Hawkpaw running toward him and touched noses with him.
"I'm home," he meowed in a low voice.
Blackpaw walked through the forest. It had been a moon since he returned with Tiger, now Tigerpaw. Blackpaw opened his mouth so that he could feel the fresh forest scents hit the roof of his mouth. He recongized the scent of mouse nearby. He scanned the forest floor for his prey.
Blackpaw saw his mouse slowly walking along the ground. He immediately dropped into a crouch and crept up on the mouse. When he was close enough, he pounced on top of the mouse and killed it with a single swipe. Blackpaw felt satisfied and picked up his kill and went to gather the rest of his prey. When he came back to camp, he saw Firestar waiting for him.
"Good job on your first assignment Blackpaw," Firestar praised.
"Thank you Firestar," Blackpaw thanked his mentor.
"Normally apprentices are rowdy and go off by themselves, but your not like that. It's nice to see an apprentice with sense," Firestar meowed.
"I'm sure Mousefur would like to here that," Blackpaw suggested.
"I think she would," Firestar agreed, "Do you want to go on the evening patrol?"
"Sure, I haven't gone on it in a while," Blackpaw meowed. He followed Firestar to the camp entrance. Waiting for them were Bumblestripe, Dovewing, Lionblaze, Squirrelflight, Sunpaw and Bearpaw.
"Are we ready to go?" Firestar asked.
"We are all set," Lionblaze reported.
"Then let's go!" Sunpaw meowed while jumping up and down. Seeing how Sunpaw act made Blackpaw wonder why he was so calm all the time. However, their was no time to think about it and the patrol left the camp. Blackpaw smelled the scent of WindClan, but it was far into their territory.
"Firestar-" Blackpaw began, but Firestar cut him off.
"I know, WindClan," Firestar meowed. Blackstar got into a crouching position to see if he could spot any activity. He looked ahead and saw three WindClan cats running towards them. He recognized one of them.
"Boulderclaw. What happened," he asked.
"ShadowClan is invading!" Boulderclaw meowed, breathing heavily, "We need help, ShadowClan has already taken over RiverClan and now they are attacking us!"
"Let's go!" Firestar ordered.
"Yeah! Our first real battle Blackpaw! You ready?" Sunpaw asked.
"I'll be as ready as I'll ever be," Blackpaw meowed silently.